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Hi everyone! My name is Peyton Watson, and I am a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, currently pursuing a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Health and Society. My journey at Carolina has been unique and filled with several meaningful experiences that led me to the Gil program.

Before college, I was heavily invested in a future in healthcare. As an incoming freshman, I was initially a biology major with hopes of becoming a medical doctor. However, after self-reflection and career exploration on campus, I shifted towards future clinical psychology practice and research aspirations. This pivot led me to work in research labs, gain many volunteer opportunities, and develop an immense passion for psychology. As I transitioned towards a new academic focus, the theme of adaptability was necessary to achieve my goals. I salvaged several resources and programs that would train me in the field and help me in the workforce.

My experiences as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar conducting full-time research this past summer sharpened my practical communication skills as I collaborated with my cohort and research mentor to author a research project. Additionally, I served as a research assistant in Dr. Sara Algoe’s Emotions and Social Interactions in Relationships Lab at UNC from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020. Finally, I recently served as a research assistant in the Strengths, Assets, and Resilience (StAR) Lab under Dr. Shauna Cooper. These are just a few of several opportunities I engaged with to immerse myself in psychology, displaying my hunger to succeed in this new territory. However, now as a senior, adjustments are still necessary. I am currently looking to develop a career that will allow me to utilize my talents differently. Although I once believed that a career in clinical psychology was suited for me, I now see a future where I can combine skills as a listener and innovator with my creativity in more high-energy, diverse settings.

With the tremendous help of the Gil program, I can now pursue these new goals effectively. My internship this fall is at Personify in Raleigh, NC. Personify is one of the fastest-growing privately held Recruitment Process Outsourcing organizations in the country. They offer strategic talent solutions to clients across the globe. I serve as a junior talent management executive, and in this role, I assist in critical portions of the Personify recruiting function by completing daily outreach tasks with my team. My internship coordinator, Brad Thornton, has accommodated with curating an experience tailored to my interests and skills. Nearly a month into my internship, I have already helped facilitate candidate sourcing through various platforms (e.g., Career Builder) and delivered timely results to my managers. Eventually, I will be contacting outsourced candidates to conduct recruiting phone screens to initiate the hiring process for partnering companies. I have already built relationships and professional networks at this incredible company. It has been fascinating to see first-hand how psychology can help private businesses improve both internally and externally. I have enjoyed every moment of my internship thus far. Talent management & organization is particularly intriguing, as collaborating with clients, emphasizing the importance of the employee experience, and incorporating research to make a better workplace sounds like an ideal career. The Gil program has allowed me to gain experience before applying to new consulting, talent management, and human resources (HR) jobs. As I continue my journey towards finding my ideal fit, I will always be grateful for the guidance from the Gil program and can’t wait to return one day to see how far I’ve come. Thank you to the Karen M. Gil Internship program faculty and staff for the chance of a lifetime to connect psychology to the corporate world and discover my life passions.

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